Afterwork is a major group exhibition exploring issues of class, race, labour, and migration in the region and beyond, as well as their corresponding aesthetics and histories. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Para Site, a leading contemporary art centre in Hong Kong and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. Afterwork premiered in Para Site, Hong Kong in March 2016 and is curated by Freya Chou, Cosmin Costinas, Inti Guerrero, and Qinyi Lim.
Migrant domestic workers are Hong Kong’s largest minority group and one of the most visible components of the city's society. Migrant workers in construction, agriculture, and services, alongside domestic workers also represent a significant social group in Malaysia and other countries in the region. In most of these places, migrant workers’ legal and symbolic status are matters of constant negotiation, reflecting the many complexities behind the continuing nation building processes of our times. The stories of migrant workers in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and elsewhere are crucial narratives that need to be told alongside the growing affluence of many of these societies in the past decades, together with the stories of struggle of what is considered the ‘local’ working class and of other historically disadvantaged groups, and on the backdrop of the different historical waves of migration that have shaped so much of our world.
Afterwork includes the work of artists of different practices, contexts, and generations. Several artists navigate directly the main thematic map of the exhibition; others chose a more personal approach, looking at the presence of domestic workers in households, the public sphere, and the artists' lives. Another group of artists create abstract and poetic landscapes that bring a different and necessary vocabulary in an exhibition that tries to address such a wide and contradictory array of topics and perspectives, from personal desires and dreams to historical processes.
In addition to the exhibition, Para Site is publishing Afterwork Readings/Babasahin Matapos ang Trabaho/Bacaan Selepas Kerja/工餘, an anthology of migrant and domestic worker literature conceived in collaboration with KUNCI Cultural Studies Centre in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This major volume about and by migrant workers contains short stories, poems, and excerpts from novels and plays, written by classical literary figures of the region, established contemporary authors, as well as domestic workers. It is printed in four different languages (Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese, English, and Tagalog), with the hope of creating a platform to facilitate the encounter and exchange through literature between the different migrant worker communities. It also aims to bring together the most relevant and important texts on this issue written in our region over the past century, as well as to promote the work of the most promising writers from among the domestic workers community.
Brian Gothong Tan
Elvis Yip Kin Bon
Gan Chin Lee
Cheng Yee Man (Gum)
Hit Man Gurung
I Gusti Ayu Kadek
I GAK Murniasih
Imelda Cajipe Endaya
Joyce Lung Yuet Ching
KUNCI Cultural Studies Center
Lai Loong Sung
Sun Yuan & Peng Yu
Xyza Cruz Bacani
The current iteration of Afterwork is organized by ILHAM and Para Site, Hong Kong.
Afterwork was first shown at Para Site in March 2016.
Afterwork is curated by Freya Chou, Cosmin Costinas, Inti Guerrero, and Qinyi Lim.
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